Saturday, January 04, 2003

I suppose I should comment on the first Tallahassee story since the 2000 elections to make the big time. The Tallahassee Democrat, the local liberal rag, has suspended one of their columnists for what he said in an email. The Democrat is the kind of paper where, when you buy it on Sunday for the TV piece and comics, you flush the news and comment sections down the toilet so they won't infect the trash. I've been feuding with them for years. Their columnists were trying like crazy - still are - to find excuses for the bin Ladens of the world. So they keep this Cotterell guy around to give the place atmosphere. Cotterell had the effrontery to say that the Arabs had not been sincerely trying to negotiate with Israel for peace. Haven't they seen Arafat's box of baby wipes that he keeps around just to soothe his face from the effects of crying over all the innocent Israeli lives he has snuffed out? Here's Cotterell's statement from the Democrat story:
"OK, they can squat around the camel-dung fire and grumble about it, or they can put their bottoms in the air five times a day and pray for deliverance; that's their business," Cotterell wrote in his e-mail. "And I don't give a damn if Israel kills a few in collateral damage while defending itself. So be it."
Right on, Bill. Obviously, though, in this day and age, any reporter who mentions the fact that camels produce dung, or that Arabs burn it for fuel, is being culturally insensitive and probably speciesist as well. Why don't camels burn our dung? Hey, makes about as much sense as criticizing Cotterell! On a side note, I don't understand why the wire services and Drudge didn't pick up the Democrat story. Drudge went with one from the Sarasota Herald Tribune.
Gun control at work
Draconian gun control laws are having the predictable effect. Even the Independent cannot help remarking on the surge of gun violence around Britain. Wonder how many of these goblins would be dead if the reported attacks had happened in Texas? The Birmingham attack involved "sub-machine guns"! If all guns are outlawed, outlaws might as well arm themselves with the heaviest artillery they can lay their hands on.

Say, you don't think sentences like this from British judges could have any relation to the outbreak of deadly violence? Nah. He's trying to be a poet, after all. The machete was obviously an artistic statement. Three strikes and you're a piece of cold dead meat, anyone? Now there's an artistic statement!
Warming blanket
Nights are getting cold here in Tallahassee. I'm getting tired of having either not enough or too many blankets on the bed, so I determined to buy what we used to call an "electric blanket". Down at Target, I looked in vain. Then I noticed a couple of packages that looked like electric blankets, but were called "warming blankets". The hairs went up on the back of my neck. Has our language, our culture, degraded to that extent? Are we so afraid of being fried in our beds that we wish away the horror by avoiding the dread word "electric"? In my mind that's always been a good word. And note the flabbiness of the new locution. Is there any such thing as a "non-warming blanket"? Do we actually have to resort to redundancies to reassure ourselves that the demons Spark and Fizzle will not spring out of our bed covering in the night, launch themselves on us and overstimulate our dreaming neurons to produce brain-destroying circuit overload?
Wait a moment. Non-warming blanket. Cooling blanket. There's an idea. It gets pretty hot and humid around here for eight months of the year. Maybe one could have a blanket with ice water or Freon - ha! to the ozone hole - running through little tubes in it to keep you cool. No need for air conditioning all night. Think of the savings. But then we'd have to think of something to call it. "Refrigerating blanket" might not be quite right. People are SO sensitive! They might get visions of waking up in the morning frozen into a block. Malfunctions are the stuff nightmares are made of - or was it "on"? So maybe "cooling blanket". But that doesn't sound quite right. A blanket is supposed to keep you warm, not cool. "Cooling cover" - too alliterative. "Cooling spread" - sounds like something you eat on toast when it's a hundred degrees out - hey, now there's an idea! "Chill sheet" - Jeez, makes you think of the morgue. I know! The Refresherator! Ho! You can't have it! I had it first!

Thursday, January 02, 2003

The Independent is whining, like that's not obvious, that Australia didn't immediately go to the help of the Solomon Islands, in a remote region of which a cyclone has struck two small islands, when the Solomons government did not ask for help and didn't give permission for Australian aircraft or ships to even go to these islands. Australia gives twelve million pounds to the government every year, which apparently has few other assets and has blown every asset it has. And now the Euroweenies are complaining that the Australian taxpayer is not taxed further to rescue the oppressed citizens of this jerk government. What would the Independent say if there was an earthquake in Iraq, the Iraqi government did nothing and the Israelis went in to help without asking the Iraqi government? What if a hurricane hit Cuba and the US sent a fleet of airplanes from Florida, loaded with relief supplies, without getting Castro's permission? The yowls of protest would resound for years. There's no point to reading the Independent. It just raises the blood pressure. And nothing you could ever do will appease them. Impoverish yourself, give up every right you can imagine, flagellate yourself, praise their every action and they will just spit on you. The hell with them.
Wake up, Andrew!
Andrew Sullivan said a couple of things today that I disagreed with, so I sent him a little message. Lot of good it will do me.

Dear Mr. Sullivan,

About your post on the lesbian "parents", it is only
necessary to say that no man has or ever has had two mothers. The
concept is clear and has been for thousands - nay millions - of
years. To redefine something as simple as motherhood is arrant
self-deception. Even adoptive parents are always aware there's
someone called the "biological mother" - and father - out
there somewhere. What a redundancy! What sort of mother is a mother
who is not biological? The "legal" mother? The
"love" mother? What does "mother" mean, anyway?
I favor restricting meaning to the natural concept. Next thing,
you'll be redefining apple pie as "legally acceptable
apple" pie when it contains only Ritz crackers, the famous
"mock apple pie". What gay people have is a mock marriage.
It mocks itself.

To treat gay relationships as marriages is to destroy meaning and
create nothing new. The ties of blood will always be reliable. They
will always trump the thrill of mockery.

And about Herb Ritts - he did die of pneumonia because no one has
ever died of "AIDS". That's another mockery of logic,
cobbled up by the medical establishment to justify research grants.
But that's an old story, known to all who will open their eyes to
see. You obviously prefer blindness.

Update - now I'm ticked off
Maybe I'm going over the edge, but Andrew Sullivan has enraged me again by opining that Herb Ritts did after all die of "AIDS". So I launched a salvo of indignation:

Dear Mr. Sullivan,

You have said on your blog that Herb Ritts "...died because his
immune system was severely compromised by HIV." I challenge you
to support this statement with scientific evidence. Unless you can,
your assertion is false. And if you find such evidence, you might as
well send it to researcher Peter Duesberg and Kary Mullis, the Nobel
Prize winner. They would be very surprised to find such proof.

Put up or stop lying.

Oh, dear, I guess I won't get invited to any of his cocktail parties!

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Have a PC New Year's!
Isn't it a relief not to have to worry about whether you're going to be attacked for saying "Merry Christmas"? Nobody minds a "Happy New Year!" But why is that? After all, our New Year has not always been universally recognized. Jewish New Year is not on January 1, nor is Chinese New Year. And the year numbers are all different. Islam's calendar started fourteen-hundred odd years ago, not 2003. I think the Chinese and Jews are over four thousand. This "Year of our Lord" bit is based on our oppressive Western Christianity, after all. How come no one gets upset about it the way they do about Christmas? You would think that the response to "Happy New Year!" would be, "Maybe it's YOUR New Year, capitalist Western pig, but don't assume it's mine. My cult doesn't even recognize the passage of time. How can you be so offensive!! Go invade Iraq for oil or something! I'm gonna sue!!" Hmm, maybe I shouldn't have mentioned it. Maybe next year, everyone having been cowed into saying "Season's Greetings" or "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas", the PC crowd will target the New Year thing and try to get us to recognize all the time-keeping systems as morally equivalent. Then calendars will be attacked for using Roman months, those nasty Romans who beat up all those nice Oriental countries. Publishers will make money flogging "multicultural" calendars, bearing all the year systems, in lunar and sidereal months, to the total confusion of everyone. Better enjoy the relative clarity while we can.
Benefits of Socialized Medicine

I've been reading Mendelsohn's Confessions of a Medical Heretic. It's a good book to read if you're feeling sick. Then you don't make the terrible mistake of going to a doctor so you can feel better. Reading through this thoroughly sensible treatise, I had a revelation about the real underlying purpose of socialized medicine. The proclaimed purpose of socialized medicine is to make it possible for anyone, no matter how poor, to have "access" (a loaded word if ever there was one) to medical care, translation, to go to a doctor or a hospital if he feels the slightest bit ill. The reality of socialized medicine, of course, is that the system is always overloaded, doctors and other staff have no incentives to treat you well and you have to stand in long lines to get anything done, even if you're nearly dying. So the net effect can be to keep anyone with any sense away from the medical system entirely. Who would queue up with contagious children and rheumy elderlies unless he absolutely had to? And that's just what Mendelsohn's saying. More people die because they go to the doctor or the hospital than die because they can't find or afford medical care. The way socialized medicine works out, sensible people go to the doctor LESS frequently than they would if they had health insurance or if the rabble were kept away from the medical system by high prices. So, according to Mendelsohn, sensible people are healthier under socialism than they would be under capitalism. A side benefit is that the silly poor folk who throng into the hospitals are being used as guinea pigs, given unnecessary and harmful prescription drugs and suffering unnecessary and often harmful surgery (M calls it "ritual mutilation"!). A good percentage, therefore, are keeling over who wouldn't have if they hadn't gone to hospital. And natural selection proceeds on its merry eugenic way. All hail Marx and Lenin!

Update - Life imitates life
Mindles Dreck, in Asymmetrical Information, reports on and analyzes the reasons for doctors' strikes in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. But my comment points out that they missed an important aspect of having fewer doctors messing with your life:

Robert Mendelsohn, in his book "Confessions of a Medical Heretic" documents several instances where strikes by doctors led to massive decreases in the death rate. Maybe Pennsylvania and West Virginia should try to drag this dispute out as long as possible. For the children and the sick!

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Alternative Palestine
My sister sent me some generic article about the oppression of the poor Palestinians by the nasty Israelis. I won't bother you with it. But I think my response is on point:

While in a state of war with a stateless rabble of murderers, Israel would have to be insane to let millions of them back into areas they left voluntarily, hoping to return to a Judenrein "Palestine". The miracle is that Israel has tolerated terror attacks from Judea and Samaria and Gaza for decades. If the Arabs had won in 1948 or 1956 or 1967 or 1973, would they have created a Palestinian state? No. The Ottoman province of Palestine would have been split up among the Jordanians, Egyptians and Syrians, who would probably still be fighting over the worthless spoils. If a native "Palestinian" movement had started terror attacks on Damascus or Amman or Cairo to create Jew-less Palestine as a state, the Arabs would have massacred them to the last man, woman and child. Remember, the West Bank was part of Jordan in 1967. Gaza was "occupied" by Egypt. Israel liberated those areas and began negotiations that would have, if the Palestinian leadership had been half sane, resulted in the very first state of Palestine. But Arafat took the opportunity to miss yet another opportunity.

And how can "ethnic cleansing" exist when the "Palestinians" are not a separate ethnic group and never have been?

Sunday, December 29, 2002

Where'd that come from?
Do you have anything in your house that seems to have popped up from nowhere? In my case it's a spheroid wicker overhead lamp suspended by a chain over my reading chair that I've been using for the last five years at least. I looked up at it today and thought, "Hey, wait a minute! Where did THAT come from?"
I don't remember buying it. I never would have. Was it here when I got here? Not that I remember. I checked with the little woman: " I thought you bought it" Nope. You know the kids wouldn't have let it in the house if they had the chance. So there's only one possibility left. It snuck in by itself. It was rolling along, perched on a truck loaded with moving stuff and fell out on the corner outside my house. It rolled down the driveway and, awaiting its opportunity, popped into the garage and tried to look natural, like it had always been there. And I, foolish I, picked it up and suspended it by a hook mere inches from where I have been soaking up everything from Objectivism to flying saucer lore. It's got a complete record of all my reading, for years. And, oh yes, we all know what it is. We all know that when the time is right it will extend a scrawny little green hand from the top of the wickerwork and detach itself from the chain and roll out through the garage door and with a "pfft" take off for the sky, kick into warp drive and arrive at its home planet in mere seconds. Then, when the authorities on ssxxqplgitt see what passes for thoughts in the minds of men, then can anyone doubt they will attack? Oh, yes, they will attack and destroy and cleanse the universe of our noxious beings. But wait a minute. Back in '96. Didn't I read some Wodehouse? I did, I did! Jeeves and Wooster and Psmith! They'll read it. And, to a noid, they'll die laughing. Hey, you know what I did? I saved the universe! That deserves a Scotch.

Hell for actors

What if, after they were dead, actors and actresses had to adopt the parts that they played on Earth for, say, all eternity? It would be up to God, of course, which parts and for how long. If God liked Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life", ol' Jimmy would be running a failing savings and loan for the next few millennia, chasing after Uncle Billy, crying, "Where's that eight thousand dollars, you old drunk!!" with Lionel Barrymore chortling in the background.
Oh, how the angels would laugh. But they'd get bored eventually. Then maybe they could pick on Bogart and make him play Sam Spade alternating with Cap'n Queeg: "You're taking the fall, baby, just as soon as I find those darn strawberries!"
Schwarzenegger, may he live forever, if he does die some day, will have a peculiar burden, having to worry whether he is to play Danny deVito's twin brother, a kindergarten cop, a Martian colonist secret agent rebel or Conan the Barbarian. Now that's diversity! A most interesting moment will occur when, one hopes not too soon, Charlton Heston knocks on the pearly gates. I can see the sweat starting to form on God's massive forehead already. He has to let him in. You can't consign God and Moses to the Evil One. But if Heston does come in, how could He refrain from letting him play God some day, some time? And maybe, just maybe, the angels would prefer Heston's performance.